For the most part, I would say I am a positive person.
It wasn’t always that way. In my angsty 20s (and probably into my 30s too), I was certainly more of a glass-half-empty kinda gal. I wasn’t a pessimist as much as I was a skeptic.
But the last few years have taught me how much there is to appreciate in every day—in every moment, really.
I’ve become pretty good at chasing that joy with gratitude. Any time I catch myself getting cranky, frustrated, hangry, or road ragey, I try to STOP, take a breath, and bring my focus back to the good stuff.
But then there are those days…and I know we all have them…when there is just no convincing me that the sun is shining. Anywhere.
I am sad, down, blue, and downright unreasonable.
So what do you do on those days when you’re having a no good, very bad day? As a creative person, negative energy can not only kill your good mood, it can stop all your good juju from flowing.
This happened to me the other day, when I was tasked with writing some inspirational copy for a client. I could not shake the funk I was in, but I needed to get some work done!
On a blue day, here’s what I give myself permission to do:
1. Give myself a break.
Sometimes you need one. Sometimes it’s totally ok to spend an extra 10 minutes in bed before you hit the ground running. It’s ok to take a 15-minute break in the late afternoon and just sit in your car and turn on some tunes. It’s even ok to take a mental health day and not go and do all the things you’re supposed to do. Guess what? The world will keep spinning. And if you actually take a moment to let yourself rest a little extra bit, chances are you’ll be even stronger when you get back at it.
2. Shed a tear.
You know that feeling when you’re trying to hold back tears? That tightness in your throat, and your belly, and that clenchy jaw thing? Maybe it’s just me. But every once in awhile, I find that I just want a good cry. Maybe there’s not even a particularly good reason to. Doesn’t matter—I give myself 5 minutes to get it out. And then I move on.
3. Cheer myself up.
Now this isn’t like—let me eat an entire bag of cookie chips because that will cheer me up. (Whoever thought up cookie chips deserves an award or a flogging, I haven’t decided which yet.) This kind of cheering up is like—let me take a moment and think about how I’m feeling and what might make me feel better. Maybe it’s a special cup of tea, or watching dumb videos on YouTube for 5 minutes, or stretching out on my yoga mat for a few. Whatever it is, do it for yourself. It’s a real treat.
4. Get moving.
This is the part I most often resist when I’m down, even though I KNOW it will make me feel better. A long walk with my headphones in is bound to cure most any ill. A hot yoga class is kinda perfect to get my mind off a downer day. But if I don’t have time to do that on a particularly blue day, then I make a point to get outside for a few minutes and stretch. Or I shut my studio curtains and crank up the music and pretend I’m at da club. Whatever it takes to shake some of that negativity out.
5. Let it be.
And finally, I just try to stop resisting. I get still, I tune in, and I tell myself–tomorrow is another new day. Another chance to move forward, in the right direction.
Trust me, even though the sun may not be shining today, it will be there tomorrow. And the next day too.